Posted on January 29, 2014 · Posted in Blog

The Length of Time to Divorce Can Vary

Where one is in the process and how co-operative the spouse will be, can effect the length of time it takes to get a divorce in British Columbia. As well, there can be a big difference between using adversarial divorce lawyers and divorce mediators.

Here’s an illustration that shows the BC divorce process:

BC divorce flow chart

There are two parts to most cases: 1) an agreement, preferably in writing that captures your plan for division and moving forward, and 2) doing the paperwork to apply for the divorce. If all goes well, it should look like this:

Kelowna Divorce Timeline

In a case like this, an agreement is often achieved somewhere between the date of separation and six months. The couple are fair with each other, they each takes their half, and the process takes about 15 months.

Applying for the divorce papers requires one of three triggers.

  1. The couple has lived separate and apart for one year or more, (as pictured above)
  2. There was mental and/or physical abuse that has not been forgiven,
  3. There was adultery that has not been forgiven.

As well, one of the couple has to have BC residency for at least one year.

Divorce Gone Wrong

If it does not go well, and the couple fight or want to get even, it is called contested, and it could very well look like this:

BC Timeline for contested divorce

Fighting over the terms of the agreement often takes 3 years or more. In the meantime, separating couples qualify for the divorce since the one year mark has passed since separation. Contested divorce can be extremely expensive, stressful, and it can take a person’s health.

Separation and divorce should be relatively simple and fast. Any divorce stalemate can be traced to one root cause: one (or both) doesn’t want to let go. It does not mean they want to stay together, but rather, one or both can’t let go of the anger and move on; they want to get even. Once they let go, the divorce moves forward smoothly.

Couples should be able to get a divorce quickly and with little cost. A divorce shouldn’t be about who gets the most money; it should be about how to separate and continue on as healthy individuals, especially if they have children. But we’re all human and those emotions often get in the way!


On the Doorstep of Divorce?
Give us a call at 250.707.0928, or request a consultation.

divorce mediation kelownaAbout Kelowna Divorce Mediation Services

We are not expensive lawyers; we are family divorce mediators.  Our boutique divorce mediation firm has become Kelowna’s first choice when dealing with separation and divorce, and beyond. It is possible to reduce stress, time and conflict. Our mediation model educates and empowers our clients, so that when you leave you have a document that will stand the test of time.